The dyspraxic chef’s Top Tips For Food Hygiene

The dyspraxic chef's Top Tips For Food HygieneIt is one of the most important if not the most important part of cooking. Food hygiene. So here are The dyspraxic chef’s top tips for food hygiene and they will hopefully, make you more knowledgeable in the kitchen.

The dyspraxic chef’s Top Tips For Food Hygiene

  1. Use bactericidal soap to wash your hands

By having bactericidal in the soap you use to wash your hands with, it will kill the bacteria on your hands and enable you to keep the two most important utensils (your hands) clean. Take a little bit of soap and lather it in the palm of one hand, one it is sufficiently soapy, make a claw shape with the other hand and begin to gently scrub your fingernails in the palm of the soapy hand. Repeat this for the other hand.

  2. Cover cuts

Cover any cuts you may have on your fingers or hands with a waterproof plaster. This will prevent disgruntled dinners from finding blood and having bacteria in their food.

  3. Stay away if you’ve been sick

It might sound obvious but it can be extremely dangerous to everyone involved if someone has been cooking when recently ill. It is advised to stay away from food prep for 48 hours after the illness has passed if you have either sickness or diarrhea. Stay out of the kitchen and by a bucket and drink plenty of water.

  4. Pay attention to the temperature

Temperature plays a big part in food hygiene if food is kept at the wrong temperature it can cause all sorts of health problems.  For example, frozen food will go bad if not stored at -18c or lower and if meat or poultry are kept at 37c they become a breeding ground for pathogens and bacteria.

   5. Make sure it is cooked

Undercooked food can cause serious illness. Always make sure you pre-heat your oven or pan to the desired cooking temperature before cooking.  Follow cooking instructions carefully.Enough said on one.

For more information on food hygiene, there are lots of useful sites.  And if you live in the UK you can take an online qualification. The dyspraxic chef's Top Tips For Food Hygiene

Yours and hungry, 

the dyspraxic chef. 

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Dyspraxic cooking survey

First off, thank you from the dyspraxic chef to everyone that participated in the dyspraxic cooking survey and secondly. well done to all those dyspraxic’s who delve into the kitchen other than to drop an empty pizza box. Don’t worry if that’s you, with a bit of encouragement, anyone can cook.

The survey was put out there to try and find out about other adults living with dyspraxia and their kitchen adventures.

Dyspraxic cooking survey: The questions

It was not a scientific survey but I think the findings are insightful. The Dyspraxic chef wanted to know about the cooking habits and cooking ambitions of Dyspraxic people. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many get into the kitchen and how many actually enjoy doing so.

Dyspraxic cooking survey: The findings

Just over 55% of dyspraxic’s cook multiple times a week. The survey didn’t ask what kind of cooking is done, but that is an exceptionally high number for a group that have high tendencies to struggle with fine motor skills.

At the reverse end of the scale, just under 10% of those surveyed, never venture into the kitchen. 20% managed to rumble up some grub at least once a week.

The dyspraxic struggles

When asked what is the biggest challenge faced as a Dyspraxic in the kitchen, participants responded with very similar answers. The biggest challenge seems to be time management but motivation and inspiration rank highly, multi-tasking and organisation present obstacles as well for adults living with dyspraxia.

The survey highlighted that a lack of very basic fine motor skills is preventing a proportion of adults living with dyspraxia from cooking. Or at least preventing them from trying. I know first hand that at times cooking can be completely overwhelming, when it comes to dropping things and fire, (which ranked highly on the comments) so long as nobody is seriously hurt, you just have to laugh.

Encouraging Dyspraxic signs

Almost 66% of respondents wish they either could or would like to cook more often. 51% said that they would cook more often if they were provided with the support to do so. A statistic that could start a debate all of its own about the UK government’s stance on disability benefit.

Dyspraxic cooking survey: More questions need more answers

As with many answers come more questions. How many of the participants live alone? Do they have support? If 51%those surveyed would cook more often if they were provided with support maybe the 49% would be more inclined to do so if there was a clear idea of what support could be.

The big question for me is, what effect does a lack of cooking skills and support have on their wider health?

Dyspraxic cooking survey: Washing up

Asked on a scale of 1 – 10 how much dyspraxic’s hated the washing up, dyspraxic people gave surprisingly varied answers. But 30% say rated it between 7 – 9 out of 10 and 30% rated it ten. Much like myself on that one.

I always end up wet through one way or another.

Wet sock from washing the dishes | the dyspraxic chef

Yours and hungry.

The dyspraxic chef

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The dyspraxic chef: Struggling to do the dishes

The dyspraxic chef: Struggling to do the dishes

The dyspraxic chef: Struggling to do the dishes

One of the most important but frustrating aspects of cooking with dyspraxia is maintaining a clean kitchen. I face a constant battle to keep my kitchen tip top because it is so small and as a hoarder (OCD related) I’ve more cups than your local cafe.

It’s not just the mess

 

Clutter and mess can frustrate me in most circumstances but in particular, they frustrate me in the kitchen. Especially when the kitchen is full of dirty plates and dishes. I am not keen on looking at old food on plates, sometimes, due to a strange relationship wth texture, I don’t like looking at it when it is fresh. Looking at it is bad enough but when you add smell into the equation, it is not long before I am wretching and trying not to vomit.

I have said before and will many times again, that living with dyspraxia may display symptoms that a non-dyspraxic may experience, but what is easy to forget, is that for a dyspraxic, these things intensify.

Why have you not done the dishes?

A question that a lot of dyspraxics will feel helpless when answering. If asked in the right context, I think that it is a question worth answering. Why do dyspraxics struggle to do the washing up? Or am I alone on this one? I don’t think so. If you consider issues with motivation, texture, smell and in general sensory overload may all contribute to why dyspraxics might find it a challenge.

I do do the dishes though

But I make such a mess, much like when I am cooking. I splash around like free willy at the end. Often cleaning the dishes by way of destroying the kitchen units in the process. I don’t like doing it but when I do I feel like I have accomplished something, which might sound strange to most, but it takes a real effort to do the dishes for a dyspraxic.

I better go do the dishes, and like 30% of participants in a recent survey, I hate doing the dishes, wish me luck. If you have to do them as well, I have some tips that might help.

Yours and Hungry,

the dyspraxic chef.

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